Shrimp Tacos with Mango Salsa

published Feb 18, 2023
Shrimp Tacos Recipe

These fun and festive tacos lean on three main components: well-seasoned shrimp, a creamy slaw, and a tangy, fruity salsa.

Serves4 to 5

Makes8 to 10 tacos

Prep35 minutes

Cook10 minutes

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Credit: Laura Manzano

For a quick, fun, and endlessly riffable dinner, shrimp tacos fit the bill! This recipe leans on three main components: well-seasoned shrimp, a creamy slaw, and a tangy, fruity salsa for a lot of flavor in texture in a small package.

Shrimp is a favorite taco filling of mine because it cooks quickly. Plus, because it’s common to buy it frozen, you can easily defrost only a few at a time to scale this recipe down for a quick lunch or dinner for even just yourself.

The Key to Flavorful Shrimp Tacos 

Because shrimp have such a mild, neutral flavor, it’s important to season them well before cooking them off for tacos. A mix of cumin, coriander, and oregano is typical in Mexican cooking. The shrimp can handle more than you think, so don’t be shy. I recommend using fresh or freshly ground spices — compared to anything that’s pre-ground or old, it makes a massive difference.

Credit: Laura Manzano

A Little Salsa Goes a Long Way 

Fresh fruit salsas can be polarizing, but the mix of heat and sweetness is a great accompaniment to juicy shrimp. This recipe calls for mangoes, but feel free to substitute whichever fruit is ripe and looking good at the grocery store: any stone fruit would be great (peaches, nectarines, plums), or even papaya and cantaloupe. The longer the salsa sits, however, the more liquid it will release, so be sure to use it shortly after preparing it to avoid soggy tacos! 

Should I Use Corn or Flour Tortillas? 

It’s totally up to you! Most people have a strong preference one way or the other, but the nice thing is that tortillas are inexpensive and easily available, so there’s no reason you can’t provide both. Just be sure to warm them properly come dinnertime — and not a minute sooner! The easiest way is to wrap them with a clean kitchen towel or slightly dampened paper towels and microwave them for 10 or so seconds (depending on the strength of your microwave). They cool and become stiff very quickly, though, so do this step only when everyone is sitting at the table and ready to eat! 

Shrimp Tacos Recipe

These fun and festive tacos lean on three main components: well-seasoned shrimp, a creamy slaw, and a tangy, fruity salsa.

Prep time 35 minutes

Cook time 10 minutes

Makes 8 to 10 tacos

Serves 4 to 5

Ingredients

For the tacos:

  • 1 1/2 pounds

    raw extra-large shrimp (26 to 30 per pound), thawed if frozen

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons

    kosher salt

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons

    ground cumin

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    garlic powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    ground coriander

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    dried oregano

  • 1/4 teaspoon

    freshly ground black pepper

  • 2 tablespoons

    olive oil

  • 8 to 10

    warm corn or small flour tortillas, for serving

  • Fresh cilantro leaves and lime wedges, for serving (optional)

For the mango salsa:

  • 1

    large, ripe mango

  • 1

    medium red bell pepper

  • 1

    small serrano pepper

  • 1

    medium lime

  • 1 (1/2-inch) piece

    ginger

  • 1 tablespoon

    olive oil

  • 1 teaspoon

    kosher salt, plus more as needed

  • Freshly ground black pepper

For the slaw:

  • 1/4

    large green cabbage (about 8 ounces)

  • 1/4 medium bunch

    fresh cilantro

  • 1

    medium lime

  • 2 tablespoons

    Mexican crema or sour cream

Instructions

Marinate the shrimp:

  1. Peel and devein 1 1/2 pounds raw shrimp if needed and pat dry with paper towels. Place in a large bowl. Add 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin, 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder, 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander, 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano, and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Toss to combine. Let sit at room temperature while you make the salsa and slaw.

Make the salsa:

  1. Prepare the following, adding each to the same medium bowl as you complete it: Peel, pit, and finely dice 1 large mango (about 1 3/4 cups). Finely dice 1 medium red bell pepper (about 1 cup). Finely mince 1 serrano pepper (about 2 tablespoons, remove the seeds and ribs first if you want it less spicy). Finely grate the zest of 1 medium lime until you have 1 teaspoon, then juice the lime until you have 2 tablespoons. Peel and finely grate a 1/2-inch piece of ginger until you have 1/2 teaspoon.

  2. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1 teaspoon kosher salt, and stir to combine. Taste and season with more kosher salt and black pepper as needed.

Make the slaw:

  1. Prepare the following, adding each to the same second medium bowl as you complete it: Core and cut 1/4 large cabbage into fine shreds until you have 3 cups. Pick the leaves from 1/4 medium bunch fresh cilantro until you have 1/4 cup. Juice 1 medium lime until you have 1 tablespoon. Add 2 tablespoons Mexican crema or sour cream and toss to combine.

Cook the shrimp:

  1. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add half of the shrimp and sauté until just cooked through, 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer with a slotted spoon or tongs to a serving bowl and repeat cooking the remaining shrimp.

  2. Assemble the tacos: Fill warm tortillas with the shrimp, mango salsa, and slaw. Top with more cilantro leaves and serve with lime wedges if desired.

Recipe Notes

Storage: Leftover taco filling, slaw, and salsa can be refrigerated in separate airtight containers for up to 2 days.